I get a call from someone impersonating an officer, with all my information, concerned about missing a court appearance for jury duty.
Not only have I never even been called in to jury duty, but I have also never had any experience with missing a court date.
I fell into the trap of listening to this asshole go on about how I could either go in for an arrest, today, or make a payment, today. He scammed me out of $1000, and if you want to know more about the story and what happened, let me know in the comments – I’d be happy to make a video about the details of the scam!
After navigating through the shame, embarrassment, and anger of being tricked out of losing a significant amount of money, I was at an emotional crossroads. I felt like I could either take this as a sign that I shouldn’t run my own business, or that I will never be able to handle my own money, or I could use this time to prove to the universe that I’m serious. Serious about my business, serious about my financial future, and someone who won’t back down from my dreams.
Lesson One: Money is a Tool // You Are More Than Your Bank Account.
I have heard so many wellness coaches and authors mention this, and though I have been trying to incorporate this into my perspective, I felt like a part of me was dismissive of this story because the people who were telling me this also had more than enough to cover their basic expenses.
I felt like I had to earn a certain amount before I could truly let myself believe that money is a tool.
Even though my account totals have dropped, I know that I have never missed a rent payment, I still generally feel safe, and now I know that I would never fall for such a thing again.
I can wait around forever to have enough money before I finally “fix” my relationship with money, or truly allow myself to feel like I deserve it.
Or, I could realize that what I actually want is to be able to support myself with my business, to be somewhat location-independent, and to feel supported through the relationships in my life.
I wasn’t angry that I was manipulated out of my money, I was mad that I was manipulated out of what that money represented to me: freedom.
Think about what money represents for you – focus on that. I don’t have piles and piles of cash, but I truly recognize that money is not an end in itself. Money is a means to the life you truly want.
Don’t give it more power than you need to.
When we get stuck using measuring our self-worth through quantified terms, it will never be enough. You can get so focused on increasing the numbers in your bank account, or losing more and more weight, or getting a perfect test score in a shorter amount of time, that you honestly forget what it’s all for.
And I urge you to remember what the bottom line is and what your true motives are. Because when something happens, like you get scammed and you lose some money, or gain some weight back, or when you have a bad test day, that can be all it takes for you to lose all of your self-worth.
Your sense of worthiness is not quantifiable, so stop telling yourself it is!
Lesson Two: You Can Only Control the Power you Give to a Situation.
I could spend the rest of the holidays skulking around about how I was taken advantage of, manipulated, and paranoid about someone out there who knows my information. Sure, I genuinely felt all of these things. But I choose not to give this situation more power than it needs.
Looking back on my college experience, I can think of an entire list of times I had been betrayed, wronged, or manipulated.
Not all of those times were as serious as being scammed, but plenty of them sent me into emotional turmoil far worse than what I am experiencing now.
The reason is because I saw myself as weak, powerless, and only a victim of what was going on around me.
In reality, other than aging a few years, and switching from being a full-time student to a full-time employee, not much has tangibly changed in my life.
But what is different is my perspective on how to deal with negative situations. The point is, shit happens. It will look differently in all of our lives, but we will all be let down at some point.
In any of these situations, you have the power to chose how you feel and how you will deal with the situation.
Do you want to be defined by your struggles, or by what you accomplished in spite of them?
Empathize with yourself and allow yourself to feel hurt. Then pick yourself up and keep going. Make changes, redefine relationships, do what you need to do to heal.
But don’t stop being you.